Non-Traditional Super-Hero Powers

“Mom,” Monkey asked one morning while hunched over a bowl of cereal, “If you could have one non-traditional super power what would it be?”

“What do you mean ‘non-traditional’?”

“You know, no flying or super strength or x-ray vision. Something different. Like the ability to shoot Nerf pellets from your fingers!”

He was awfully perky for 6:50 am.

I thought for a while, but it was before 7 am, and my mind isn’t used to thinking non-traditionally at that hour. At that hour, my brain is generally in more of a bed and pillow mode. If necessary, I can force it to fast-forward to toast and tea mode. But after a few minutes, I figured it out.

Monkey gets some pretty bad migraine headaches.

“I would like to have the ability to take headaches from people and deposit them into soil where they would turn them into purple flowers.”

“That’s cool,” he said, “But weird. Very weird.”

“You said non-traditional!” I protested.

Monkey swirled his Lucky Charms around in his orange Fiesta-ware bowl.

“What about you? What power would you like to have?”

“I’d barf rainbows.”

It was a little early to be talking vomit. Still, Monkey felt compelled to continue.

“You know how throw-up is stinky? I figure, at least if I barfed rainbows, the clean-up part would be kind of beautiful.”

“Dude,” I asked. “Have you ever heard of the saying ‘Apples don’t fall from pear trees’?”

Monkey nodded.

“Let’s just say that’s cool. But weird. Really weird.”

Monkey and I had a good breakfast laugh over that one. And, of course, it got me thinking: This question would be a fantastic new ice breaker activity for the first day of classes in the fall! And it also got me wondering:

What non-traditional super-hero power do you wish you could possess?

66 thoughts on “Non-Traditional Super-Hero Powers

  1. Well, if Monkey wants to barf rainbows, then I think Lucky Charms for breakfast is a good start! 😉

    I’m not sure about the superpower. Maybe instantly transporting myself to different places. I’m not sure how non-traditional it is. Jeannie and Bewitched could do it, but I’m not sure about your basic superheros. Anyway, it would be pretty cool.

    1. I love this post. Monkey sounds intelligent, creative, thoughtful (I mean, that rainbow wish was nothing if not thoughtful), and hilarious — just like his mom.
      I would wish, among other things, for left-lane mind power. I could use my powers on those poking along in the left lane and they would suddenly feel compelled to move over and let traffic pass.

      1. Amy! Outstanding. No more pokey drivers; folks would just shift outta the way cuz you would be controlling the road like a Scrabble player controls puzzle pieces. A very handy power. 😉

        And Larisa: Oh, to be able to avoid airports! That’s pretty good. Could you bring baggage as well? 😉

  2. I love this. I am officially subscribing. How can I not when there are puking rainbows and the end of migraines?

    My non-traditional super-power would be the ability for food to prepare itself. Especially in the morning when I’m trying to read before the kids awake.

    And then they awaken. Alas, hungry again.

    1. Nancy C:
      If you ever develop this “food prepare itself” super-power, please notify me. First of all, you will make a skillion dollars, and I like to mix with very, very wealthy people. Also because I’m coming to move in with you.

      I’m glad that rainbow barf inspired you to subscribe. You never know what gets people. 😉

    2. I’d like to swap in my answer for this one! Yes, please. There might be a rare occasion where I’d want to cook for its soothing powers, so I’d definitely want the power to be activated by choice . . . but, yeah. This is definitely the one for me!

  3. My super power would be the ability to communicate with animals. I often wonder what my cats and dog are thinking and would love to be able to understand what they are saying.

    1. That could be a cool thing. On the other hand, what if you found out they were all kvetchy and you could suddenly hear every complaint: “Oy, she’s rubbing me again in that area where I don’t like it. If she’d just stroke me a little lower and to the left, it would be so much better” or “Hey lady! How about some new food? This bagged stuff is really getting old!” or “How about changing the damn litter box, huh?” That would be bad. 😉

  4. My non-traditional super power would be to shoot confidence and common sense from my fingertips. The right hand would be common sense. The left would be confidence. The effects would be long lasting and the world as we know it would be a much better place.

    Monkey, has a wonderful mind. Love that kid!

      1. uhm I have them yes which is why I could handle the power where others might wield it inappropriately. I would blast others giving them these gifts. We need this in a super hero.

    1. Hi Carl:

      Oh, that would be excellent. You would definitely need a reliable voice controlled on/off switch.

      I might like the ability to turn buggers into diamonds. I’d be a billionaire. Just saying. Why stop at gold when you could have diamonds? 😉

  5. I would like the power to zap all chronic illnesses and turn them into shooting stars. How cool would that be?! Great question monkey =) Catch a rainbow <3

    1. Melissa:

      Catching diseases and tossing them into the sky to become gorgeous shooting stars is a beautiful idea. I know a lot of people WISH for that super power.

      I was thinking small. I should have thought bigger. Thank you for thinking of everyone. I think your power just made the world a much healthier place. Also, I think if you ever developed this power, the deficit would be reduced by at least five trillion dollars. 😉

  6. My super-hero power would be the ability to freeze bullies in their tracks, especially the ones in retail settings who treat the employees shamefully. I know how it goes–my daughter works in Staples and tells us some incredible stories about customers going crazy over things like an expired coupon. When they get unfrozen, they have to watch a video of themselves over and over until they weep uncontrollably.
    On another note, I’ve really enjoyed all your tales but especially the prom one (had to wear my sister’s dress and she was about a billion bra sizes bigger than me, so the top was quite vacuous) and the June one–very touching.
    Keep up the great stuff!

    1. Ermine! Freezing bullies and making them watch their transgressions over and over would be astoundingly excellent! I wonder if they would feel remorse or if they would just laugh. Some people just suck when they get a little bit of power.

      Sorry to hear that you, too, had the vacuous top — but I’m glad you enjoyed revisiting prom with me. I had fun getting back in touch with my old dates who were generous about sharing photos. Believe it or not, we all look better now than we did in the 1980s! 😉

  7. Okay…I honestly laughed out loud on this one! My super-power is currently seasonal, but relevant right now. I’d love to be able to put up force-fields around my garden areas so deer and other fruit/vegetable-eating critters can’t get at ’em!

    1. Hi Phil! Not to be snarky, but can’t you just buy some fencing? Or are those critters like super stealth mode, night-vision goggle wearing, high-fence jumping critters? Cuz it seems like the right fence would do it. What do I know? I live in suburbia with a giant school in my backyard.

      May the force be with you. And may your zucchini be enormous. 😉

      1. Snarky? You? Please. Fencing would, of course, solve the problem in a traditional way, but would require lots of work! Since tending the veggie garden is more of a hobby than a survival mechanism, I’ll take out of the box super-power for now.

      2. Oh so you want to have like force-field hands or the ability to morph into a zillion watt force field so you could envelop your precious produce. I just missed the super-power part. 😉 Hey, I was only watching out for your cucumbers. I mean your zucchini. I mean your corn. I mean… aw, you know what I mean.

  8. Non traditional? I’d say something about being able to do some of that speed reading stuff. I’d love to be able to get through books in an hour with comprehension. Also, Skittles burps would be kind of cool.

    1. An hour? Why not just look at the book and know everything with 100% comprehension? C’mon, Clay. It’s a SUPER power.

      Skittles burps would be great. Talk about “tasting a rainbow.” You and Monkey would get on mighty fine. Burps are almost barf – sometimes. 😉

  9. Instant native proficiency in any language I encounter. For example, I imagine being at a cafe in Montreal, where I am surrounded by conversations in French, Greek, Persian, Vietnamese, and Arabic. No problem! Moneh nadareh! Ma feesh mushkeleh, habiby.

    YES. That would be the BEST superpower.

  10. I know what my traditional superpowers would be: pretty much everything Superman has without the dorky glasses and cowlick.

    Now a non-traditional superpower? I dunno. Maybe the ability to actually get everything done in a day that I need to get done that day. I think they may have a pill for that, however. It’s called Ritalin….

    So barring a cure for my ADD, I’m going to have to copy Kelly. I’d love to be able to listen in on what that crazy French guy really thinks about me.

  11. Okay, first off, you have a lot of responses before 10 o’clock in the morning and that is a power unto itself. The super power that I would personally choose would be the power that Shallow Hal had. The ability to see a person’s inner beauty as their outer beauty. How much easier would that make life? Don’t vote for that politician, he’s ugly! I’m tipping my waitress 30% just because she’s beautiful. Maybe that would make life too easy.

  12. Love this..and yes, what a great icebreakers. I love the stories of you and your son. What a kid he is! Thanks for the idea.

    My nontraditional superpower would be to have complete access to my brain. What is it that humans only use 20% of their brains? Something crazy like that or 40? I don’t know but I want 100 percent! I want access to a complete dictionary and thesaurus in my head. This would definitely help me when writing papers for my graduate classes and well any other time I want to write. I would need to have control of when thoughts come to surface as well, because I surely wouldn’t want everything to be so overwhelming that now I am crazy because of information overload. And I would not want to know what others are thinking. I believe in one’s privacy and that sounds very stressful. 😉

    1. Hi littlejl:

      It would be amazing to have access to one’s total potential. I don’t know if I’d want all my moods co-mingled, but I like the idea of having dictionary and thesaurus action 2/7. Can you develop that super-power app for me, too?

  13. What a great way to start your day. Those are the types of conversations that you don’t forget. Monkey sounds like a creative sort.

    And I’m with him. I responded to a trending Twitter hashtag similar to this with the ability to vomit molten lava. No practical usefulness whatsoever. But it’d score your kids big points with their friends and be a good way to break the ice (or melt it) at parties.

    1. Hi Chase:

      Every boy would want to have you for a best friend if you could vomit molten lava. But you would truly be every mother’s nightmare. Unless… actually, I have a really ugly chair that hubby won’t let go of… do you think and your lava-charged puke could come over and work some magic? It’s hard to argue with charred chair. 😉

  14. I love Monkey. I want to barf rainbows too. Does that mean moms find pots of gold when we clean up the vomit?

    If we’re talking useful, I’d like to beam myself anyway, a la Star Trek.
    If we’re talking useless, I’d like to have the ability to blink my eyes and radically change people’s hair.

    1. Beaming away sounds REALLY good. (I assume there is a beam back setting, right? Or would everyone just be pissed that I took off in the middle of that exciting match on GolfTV?

      As far as being able to blink and screw with people’s hairstyles – now you’re thinking out of the box. That would be hilarious! Can you imagine? 😉

  15. I’m not sure what non-traditional power I would like to have, but one I apparently possess is the ability to replace the roll of paper towel and actually put a dirty coffee cup in the sink at work. I didn’t think this was anything special, but considering that no one else does it, I guess I’m blessed with superhuman abilities. Who knew?

  16. I’d choose the ability to protect children from all the woes and wobbles of the teenage years. Then again, it would be a huge bummer to have to learn all that later in life. Ah…I better think this though some more before you grant my wish, Renee!

    1. Oh no way, Kasey! I want my kids banged up and experiencing life to the max. No bubble-wrapped peeps around here.

      That said, I will telepathically transfer migraines to anyone who screws with my Monkey. True that. Bullies beware. (Seriously, I have been working on this power since 7 am. Just have not been able to make flowers grow.)

  17. Barf rainbows. I like that. 🙂 I think I’d like the power to be in multiple places at once. Is that a non-traditional power? It sure would make my life easier. I could be writing a blog, while reading a book, while doing laundry, fixing meals, cleaning house, and playing with the children.

    1. I would love to be able to clone myself. How excellent. One of me could actually exercise while the other one sits on her butt and writes all day. That would outstanding! I would have to make sure to switch things up so as to insure parity among the me’s. No one me likes to be taken for granted. 😉

  18. Go Monkey! It reminds me of a morning I trudged up the long hill to the semiconductor fab. We were encouraged to dress comfortably since we were encased in bunny suits all day. We were not allowed to wear makeup (it contaminates ICs) and we generally looked like our worst selves. I decided to get a bit colorful and wore bright pink leggings, a long yellow t-shirt and turquoise sneakers. My shift started at 5:00 a.m., so as I entered the front door at 4:30 a.m. and saw the desk guard’s eyebrows raise I looked at her and said, “Don’t mock me. A rainbow puked on me.” ;}

    My superpower would be to banish bad hair days (known as bad hair lives to some of us) for all peeps around the planet. Imagine the work we could accomplish if we spent less time fussing over our hair or lamenting our plight when we should be concentrating on cures for deadly diseases!

  19. Great question! I would like to be able to morph into my 20 year old self at will. I’m not exactly sure how I would use this power. I think I would just spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror!

    1. Oh, I love this Sprinkles. We could slip into our 20 year old selves to go out to fabulous parties where we could party energetically into the wee hours of morning. It would be like slipping into that perfect black dress. No wrinkles. And our racks would be fabulous. And firm. Just saying.

  20. Special super powers? Right – loads of them…
    1. Complete stupidity – then I’d be invulnerable, because what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
    2. The knack of making a hat look good on my head. I need it very soon. Our village fair starts with a parade. This year’s theme is hats (not really a theme I know). I’ll be wearing either a Chinese bamboo hat with a face made from fruit – or a homemade topper with three layers of different coloured wig, eyes and a mouth. Basically whichever one the creative who designed them (my daughter) decides to discard. I’ve already added an extra banana for balance to the fruit face hat – but there’s still a slight chance I may look a tiny bit silly, which brings me on to supper power number three…
    3. The power to be unembarrassable.
    I may already have one of these powers. I’ll know by this time tomorrow.

  21. I would “fix” my students’ biggest challenge so they could worry about the smaller challenges…if they weren’t LD in math, they could focus on learning to be better writers. If they didn’t have Asperger’s, they would understand social cues and make good friendships.

    If that gave the gods too much of a laugh, I’d make teenagers not be surly.

  22. It’s nice to see *your* blog — thank you so much for leaving a comment on mine (the blog post about impostor syndrome). I can easily see that you’re not an impostor but a really real blogger 🙂 As for my non-traditional super power, it would be to have brief controllable periods of amnesia so I would be able to relax without thinking about everything I needed to do but wasn’t because I was relaxing! I love your blog! And that was a wonderfully fun question!

    1. I don’t think either of us is an imposter, but there are days when those internal voices that tell us otherwise can get pretty loud!

      I am so happy to meet you! So many great people. I wish we could all have a bloggers’ convention in my backyard!

      Glad you had fun with the question. Monkey keeps me inspired. 😉

  23. Hard to compete with rainbow barf.

    Mine would have to be the ability to make food magically appear in my cabinets and refrigerator without the hassle of grocery shopping, schlepping, putting away.

    And if “someone” cooked dinner and cleaned up, that would be pretty super-powerful, too.


    It’s not like a rainbow would appear in my kitchen.

    (at least not before we’ve finished eating…hopefully)

    1. Oh, how nice to not have to do the shopping or food prep or clean up.

      You are so practical about your super-power but – f’real, that would save so much time.

      If I could borrow that superpower, I would be mighty obliged.

      You know, if you ever discover it. I know you are a good sharer. 😉

  24. It’s good that you provided a few delightful examples, because I was stumped by the idea of non-traditional superpowers. (Someone from Eugene, Oregon, ought be a little better about non-traditional thinking!)

    My non-traditional superpower would be to create a shield of unlyingness around me. No one could lie to me, whether by text message, email, voicemail, face to face, etc. This isn’t because of any great tragedy outside of the officeplace but due to my increasing chagrin at catching folks in the act when there’s no need to fib! I’m sure I’ll drive to Li’l D’s daycare and think of a billion more awesome non-traditional superpowers, but that’s the one that strikes me fancy right now. For no particular reason, of course.

  25. I would have the power to bend the space-time continuum so that I could either instantly teleport myself from one place to another with a little dimensional origami, or use the powers in a different way so that if I say “I can make time for that” I would, literally, create some extra time.

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